tv Press Here NBC July 10, 2011 9:00am-9:30am PDT
fire fox tries to crumble cookies online with new do not follow features designed to keep your browsing private. mozilla ceo my guest this morning and daniel burriss is why your biggest problem isn't worth worrying about. our reporters this week on "press: here." good morning, everyone. if it feels like you're being
followed, you are. the "wall street journal" recently published a series of articles revealing most are tracked as they travel from website to website. >> reporter: the report's called what they know were shocking. according to the journal articles, dictio.c instal lsom installs 234 files called cookies on your computer every time you look up a word. 11 of those files belong it to the website. the rest, though, are third party trackers that follow you as you surf weeks or months later. search for information about dandruff and days later you will see ads for shampoo on your browser. congress was incensed and held hearings and proposed laws. the engineers meanwhile solved the problem another way. the latest version of fire fox and microsoft internet explorer
contain a do not track option that claims to keep you more or less anonymous on the web. >> gary kovacks takes the play of john lilly who has also been on the show. and john an ben, so explain do not track. you're not the only web browser that has it. but what's the concept or the idea? >> the concept is simple. we're tracked in everything we do on the web. that information is used for some valuable purposes to help us get a better experience. it's often used to monetize and create additional revenue for people that you don't even know. so the user's data is being used in a way that they don't know. and we find that offensive. so we initiated something in firefox 4, we were the first that put a do not track option in the browser which just gives an opportunity to put up their hand and say don't track me, you cannot sell my information to third parties or use it for
purposes other than what i allow you to do. >> you said there are good purposes and bad purposes. am i given the option or how does it work that i allow the good and not the badded? >> today did not track is an opt-in facility. you put in your preferences. the back ends have to accept that. over time, it will be much more granular so you'll be able to choose how you want your data to be used. >> assuming you have the participation of the websites themselves, though, right? >> exactly. what's happened since we launched in firefox 4 and we announced it in december was the advertisers bureau has stepped up and said they will support it. microsoft has stepped up and said they will incorporate it. apple has stepped up and said they will put is in safari. and the associated press has put over 300 sites now that are implementing do not track. so we took the first step, but it's by no means the final step needed. >> you mentioned the companies that set they would adhere to that. what about facebook and google? you didn't mention those two. >> i did not. >> is that by design?
we tried to press facebook and they were nebulous about it. have they said anything since then? >> they have not significant anything to us nor in the forums. we're encouraging every major web property that we as couplers use to incorporate some sort of method to allow users to choose what happens to our data. >> facebook has not yet said what they're going to do. i don't want to speak for facebook -- >> okay. what facebook has said to me is that a lot of their users are volunteering. it's a free service that they choose to join and everything that they say in terms of their like, status updates, preferences, are not pulled out of them, they're volunteered. so that makes sense. i'm interested as much in google chrome, for instance and repr repercussions from the use of
that. >> the argument you put forward is true in a very small context. it is true that i set my preferences when i go on netflix, i want to remember a little bit about me so it can make recommendations. i do not want in my case them to sell my data to third parties to market to me. nor do i want them to track that data for long periods of time, 18 months, in two year, whateve and amalgamate this picture of me that i'm not aware of. >> when you do not track, are you depending on it being the good guys? it's the bad guys you don't like. >> we're not opposed to information being used. what we're opposed to is this lack of trarnsparency. >> it plays to your strengths, though, in terms of the privacy issue. because if that's an achilles' heel at facebook and google, it's privacy. a lot of people don't trust what's being done with their information. >> and trust is the biggest
thing. so we have this sense that it's anonymous because most of the time we're in the comfort of our home in a locked room that we're online. it's not anonymous. it's in the private, and our data is being used. personal data about our behavior patterns, our children's behavior patterns is being used everywhere. and that's got to stop. and now that we're posting more information than ever, pictures and blogs and your addresses and mortgages and so forth, away we go. how do we protect it? >> what's the end game for this? what do you want to accomplish in the end with do not track and these privacy features? >> we want the user to be able to choose. we want complete transparency. if you want to take my information and sell to make money and to sell to third party, you telling me, i will decide if there's a value to me and i will decide whether i want to give that information. >> what if you break the internet? what if the "new york times," what if all of the sites which
are now free say but this is how we make money. and i think most consumers will say, no, don't track me. to which all the websites will say, well, how would you have us continue to do websites. >> it's a ridiculous argument. it's an argument that i hear most often. the reason why i say it's ridiculous is because that must mean that the premise of the way the web works is we create value for users based on doing something to them that they don't know. if that's true, you better stop it now. if it's not trurks then there's other ways we can monetize the web. >> where are you encountering resistance to this? are there companies that are giving you -- >> we don't have -- i don't sense the same resistance as when it was first introduced because it was the fear of the unknown. how will we enforce this. the resistance is how does the whole system work. the back hand has to accept the user putting their hand up and being able to not do something or do something based on that. so the system has to be designed you can the biggest challenge is pulling together the right
parties who can agree on that design. >> is google plus, the new social networking feature, that might make things more interesting in terms of sharing information through google plus and how it filters through all the other different properties. >> and we're at the tip of the social iceberg. there will be many more. privacy will be even more of an issue. so governments are stepping in. we've seen now in europe under the guidance of the vice president for the council on the internet has stepped up and said by 2012, we have to have a solution. we've doing similar things in the state of california. so it will take some time. >> i'm curious what you think of what microsoft is doing. because they've been on the same charge. i've heard their team talk consistently about privacy, as well. do you think they're going the right way about it? what do you think about their efforts? >> they came out with a couple alternatives were openly critical about do not track.
they've since a adopted the principles of do not track. so i'm particularly really pleased and proud of them. >> for the viewer who does not understand the differences, and i don't want to get down to inside baseball, what made your system better that they adopted it? >> do not -- way do not track is being implemented, and there's a whole host of contributors to it, it's a vun veruniversal sta that says do not track. versus alternative approaches where i have to define and list a specific website i don't want to track me, which of course is really difficult to do. >> that he's completely nonsensical. i'm trying to think of a website without offending somebody. flowers.com.i'm trying to thinke without offending somebody. flowers.com. that's completely random. and there will be trackers on there. it doesn't make any sense to me that have nothing to do with flowers. >> exactly right.
so the system has to be evolutionary where it gets to solve that problem because you may want to remember part of the things that you go back to flowers.com. >> we'll be honest with our viewers and talk about we are going to advertise to them for about two minutes answer we'd w back in just a second. look, every day we're using more and more energy. the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet? natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel there is. we've got to be smart about this. it's a smart way to go. ♪
welcome back to press here. ben has an ipad but is not running a firefox app. there is no firefox app. there is an app for everything. >> there is a firefox app. it's not the firefox bruzer on the ipad and the firefox app is our first iteration to bring some of the things that you would did to on your firefox browser back to -- >> there are lots of browsers. safari and tera is another one. why not firefox? >> because we use a different
beg engine. and apple prohibits the use of that particular -- >> how much damage does that do you, if any? if you're trying to battle for the web browser on the pc, you are doing really well in that battle. i suspect the battle field is moving. >> the battlefield is growing. pcs today, there's about 450 million sold every year. it's about 10% year over year growth. smart phones, those numbers vary, but they're somewhere in the same neighborhood growing at afternoon more rapid rate. and tablets are getting started but growing fast. so the face of the internet as we know it is expanding in our lives and we as mozilla have to continue to drive innovation in this open and innovative web everywhere. so we're investing significantly in putting products on to those devices. >> so there's a stat out that the top four search engines account for about 95% of all
advertising revenue. so with the growth of smart phones, does that change in any way? does the pecking order change? or is there a new player that joins? >> in browsing, the browser is just getting started so to speak on mobile devices. the internet is being invoked on mobile devices in many different ways. applications, browsers, so search will be a part of many more pieces. there will still be a need for a browser, but we also envision the open web apps will be necessary. >> you do have one for android, google os, but not ios. what's the biggest challenge in building these? >> getting being a is he to the lowest level of the device. the open platforms are not quite hope which is how we see the
world as why we're worried about it. >> are you saying you'd like to write a browser for the ipad but you simply can't? >> we cannot, and we would like to. >> you can't because it wouldn't be the firefox you'd like to be? >> no, because contractually we're not allowed to. there a clause -- >> how much does that scare you, though? >> sfrfrightens me. from a user point of view. i'm in the allowed to choose. the web is all about choice. the innovations come from the outsides to the in. and back in the days when aol was the way we got on and everybodied had a cd that we loaded and we're in the aol environment, that burst apart simply because all of the services one company provideded couldn't satisfy the sdrirs of everybody. and the same will happen which is why the open web always wins. so it frightens me that there
are being temporary controls put on that. >> how temporary, i'm not so sure. >> android has exploded. other platforms will exemployed. full hdml 5 complied browsers will explode and that will start picking away at these platforms. >> a typical firefox user, do they use multiple browsers? >> a little bit less today, but going to the same place. and that is most of us both in tech and outside of tech use mull t multiple bruiser ebrowsers. so it's common. okay. coming up on friday, hp launched its new tablet. up next, daniel burriss on why companies should pot chase their compete competitors when "press: here" continues.
you've no doubt thought a great deal about your biggest problem. not enough money, trouble with your boss, unhappy investors. my next guest says take your biggest problem and skip it. >> reporter: skipping your problem is advice contained in just one chapter of daniel burriss' new book flash foresight. but steve forbes says that chapter alone is worth the price of the book. >> we're all competing on price. >> reporter: an example is eli lilly, the drug maker. it needed more money. to get it, it needed new drugs to sell. but creating those new drugs required triple the number of researchers it already had. employees the company could not afford. in other words, it would take too much money for eli lilly to make money. so lilly skipped expensive
research and instead offered the problems to be solved to volunteer on the internet who would crunch that data in exchange for a relatively small prize. >> daniel burriss is the author of six books who says he's got a 25 year record of being right about predictions. jon swartz and ben par are here. six books, three ipad or iphone apps, and something else. a newsletter and a website. >> yeah, exactly. six companies over the years and a variety of fields. actually more than three apps. there's a number of them that you can't get in the store, you can't find anywhere. and they're international and doing great. >> so you're work much harder than the rest of us. i used the eli lilly example of skipping the problem. that's interesting advice. give me another. >> understand whatever problem you've got, no matter what it is, that's pot it. you're smart. you would have solved it by now. you're working on the wrong one.
for example, people will say i can't save money. i'm trying hard, i just can't save money. wrong problem. it's how you spend problem. change how you spend money and you'll save money by default. when i launched my first apps, i was told how are you going to be found in the apple store. and i decided to skip it, don't be found in the apple store, make every app that i release news worthy. so they were "wall street journal," forbes the first day, now the 17th most downloaded app. so i skipped those problems to get to the real problem. >> whole committees can sit around and fret about something not realizing that maybe if we just approach it from a different apgle. >> i even had a wong hearing me speak and she was off to the side when i finished, i could tell she wanted to talk to me and she came up and she said i got a problem i can't skip because she heard me talk about this. and i said what is it? she said i was just diagnosed with terminal cancer, i've for the less than a year to live, chemo isn't going to work.
k radiation isn't going to work. i'm thinking about death all the time. >> why don't you skip thinking about death until you're dead, why don't you start thinking about living while you're alive. >> tough love. >> 30 days later, i got an e-mail, she was in europe from her sister, she said thank you, changed my life. >>psychologist, too. >> recently myspace sold for a pittance. in their case they ignored facebook initially, they said only dorks will join that and we have nothing to worry about. wasn't that part of their problem by in a sense ignoring what was the obvious in front of them? >> as a matter of fact, in the book flash foresight, what i talk about is certainty. another principle other than skipping. this are two types of trends.
hard and soft. hard trends will happen, soft trends might. to answer your question, when we see a trend and we treat it soft, kodak and polaroid, digital. they treated it as a soft trend. polaroid disappeared. >> soft trend in what way? >> soft trends might happen. hard trends will. for example, let's me give you >> the digital camera only might have happened? >> it was there for them to see. let's take polaroid. they were in the instant photography business. take a picture, you can see it right away. isn't in a what digital is? so did they not know about digital, did the news not tell polaroid? of course they knew about digital. but they treated it as a fad. instead of, no, this is a hard trend here to stay growing rapidly. they missed it. so for example, there's 78 billion baby boomers. they're getting older. that's a certainty. >> i can therefore extrapolate that jar ren tomorrow guests
will be in demand. >> better yet, let's create jobs and use certainty. for example, why don't you and i start a company based on that demographic. a lot of people like to go boating. why don't you and i start the easy launch trailer business. i'm serious. versus for seniors. will the power of demographics increase our sales every year? yeah. let's start another one. let's create jobs in this country and use certainty. how about an elevator company. only retrofits on the outside of a home, only goes up one flight. will we have certainty because of demographics? >> because we know the one thing. >> we know the one thing. let me give you another certainty using technology. you mentioned steve jobs in the last segment. in january of this year he stepped down for his second medical leave. i'm uncertain why, so that caused a lot of uncertainty about apple. i have to ask what am i certain about. will the next iphone have a better processor in it? >> of course. >> will there be more storage in it? >> of course.
>> and is the cloud full or might there be more in the cloud? >> more in the cloud. >> come on, join me. >> we've got 3g now, 4 g coming out. is that it or might there be -- >> there will be a 5 g. >> and you're certain. and we are storing data in the cloud. how about processing power in the cloud? in other words, you've got -- i've given you a bunch of certainties. now let me give you the ah-ha. if we can do all that on our mobile devices with a watson on our phone, could we use mobile devices like phones and tablets to deliver just in time training? in other words, trantsform how e train and educate people. yes, with certainty. and if you don't do it, your competitors will. >> if there are companies able to do this, and apple is a great example, they just figure things out ahead so well, the hewlett-packard which is came out with a tablet copying the
ipad, i want to say to hp, you are copying apple when apple is meanwhile making the next thing. >> the sad thing with hp is they used to be in apple's position and they switched roles. you said every prediction for the past 25 years. so what will happen to facebook? are they going to continue to grow and be this be me moth for years on end or will they suffer the same fate of a myspace? >> excellent question.me moth f years on end or will they suffer the same fate of a myspace? >> excellent question. first of all, the secret ingredient is to leave out the parts you can be wrong about. so the key -- so now what am i right about? there are categories in social media. facebook is the current leader of that category of social search, all right? are they going to stay the leader? no. but the category will remain.
just like who is the leader in -- >> until a new category emerges. >> yes. >> and they may be the leads e f that. >> exactly. so the prediction is i can't tell you facebook will, but i know the cat better will continue to grow exponentially. who was the leader in search in the year 1999? yahoo!. but someone else came along. >> but search still exists. >> and growing. google is the current leader. are they guaranteed to be the leader? no, that's a soft trend. for example, social search, does that have a future? the minute you hear it, you're going to say yes. you're right. >> so what do -- this seems obvious when you say it. why do companies not do that? >> you got to -- >> people are getting older, it seems obvious, let's get a fleet of cars and offer wllimousine-le
service. >> web one was finding things. search. web two was social media. and it's about content sharing. what's web three with certainty? threats's give you a prediction with certainty. it's the 3d immersed experience. in other words, right now all of our browsers are what some a colored piece of paper with a video.some a colored piece of paper with a video. let's make them d. >> we might see more video in terms of chat. >> without glasses with a mobile device all right. all right. starting to come out with games. a game like xbox, why can't i go in rooms, why can't i go in environments as i'm searching for things? >> i have to stop you there. flash foresight is i don't you are book. you had me except for iphone 5. that's just crazy talk. author of many books. "press: here" will be back just a minute. rgy. the world needs more energy.
where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet? natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel there is. we've got to be smart about this. it's a smart way to go. ♪